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London Transport

North of the Thames

Last updated 30-05-06.

Route 395 provided a very limited service on Mondays to Fridays between Hertford (Bus Station) and Ware (Fanshawe Crescent) via Ware Crossing—a journey time of just 14 minutes! A couple of journeys ran beyond Hertford Bus Station to Sele Farm Estate. The main daily service ran to Fanham Common and was numbered 395A.

The heavy weathering and larger numbers suggest that the first “E” plate is quite old.

395 395


Routes 395 and 395A were long established London Country routes running very short journeys between Hertford and Ware. The 1949 map shows both routes sharing the terminus in Hertford Bus station along with another 20 routes of which no less than 11 headed off together along Ware Road, past Hertford Garage [HG] which provided the allocation for these routes before entering Ware where—how often do you get to write that!—they scattered into northeast Hertfordshire. Whilst the 395 stopped in Ware centre, the 395A carried on through the town to Musley Hill. The 1969 map shows extensions to both routes westwards to just outside Hertford at Sale Farm Estate, a place I presume was built in the post-war housing boom and needing transport to bring its inhabitants into town. They both trundled through Heretford before joining another 13 routes heading for Ware. The 395 finished in the town centre but once more the 395A poked its head northwards slightly to Fanham Common, again I presume to serve a new build estate. Type allocations were RTs and RMCs, before single deckers took over the routes in 1977. With a maximum route mileage of four miles, I would not think there would have been many of these plates.

Split “E” plates were used to indicate routes in busy locations where a large number of routes converged, and enabled bus flags to be used to the full. With the density of routes in the Ware area, I would guess that the first plate featured perhaps in Hertford Bus Station, along the Ware Road, or in Ware town centre.

Route 396 operated up in the north east corner of the Country Area, from Epping Station to Bishop’s Stortford via Harlow. RT-operated from 1948, including at one time a red-painted Craven on loan, it operated from Epping Garage [EP] until closure in 1963, when it transferred to the new Harlow [HA] facility. The 1960s saw the occasional RMC and RF, and the route was part-converted to RML in 1966. A much-shrunken, one-bus-a-week operation ceased running early in 2005.

Although various short workings operated, this “ALIGHTING POINT ONLY” plate is presumably from either Epping or Bishop’s Stortford.


“SPECIAL JOURNEYS” plates are relatively uncommon, so this split “E” plate is one of the more difficult variations to find.
Judging by the amount of weathering on this “E” plate, it could be quite old.
Note the subtle difference in the number “3” on the two “FARE STAGE” plates.

Route 397 ran between Passmores and Bishops Stortford via Harlow town centre, Old Harlow, Sawbridgeworth and Thorley Street.

Route 397A ran between Passmores and Bishops Stortford via Harlow Town Centre, Templefields Industrial Area, Harlow Mill, Sawbridgeworth and Thorley Street.



Route 397B ran during Monday to Friday rush hours in Harlow between Passmores and Pinnacles.

The 397B is a most difficult number to find “E” plates for as it was such a short route.

Route 398 ran from Quill Hall Estate to Beaconsfield (Saracens Head) via Amersham Station and Coleshill. Of course, fare stage plates on short routes such as this are astonishingly rare, as there were few stops along the route which had “E” plates at all.

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Click on any of the tiles below to go to images of the “E” plates and the route descriptions for that number series.